Feelin’ hot! hot! hot! : Mexican Casserole

What everyone should know how to make three or four of — casseroles.  They’re good for all occasions from dinners with friends to potlucks and always the sadder thing, funerals.  Let’s face it, when someone dies, what’s the one thing that everyone does?  Cooks tons of food and takes it to the family so that they can feed themselves but not have to think about cooking.  Trust me, this is something I know far too well.  When you have a best friend and her mother cooks an entire Thanksgiving dinner for your family (while still cooking a whole one for her family), you know you’re loved.

But what is it about casseroles that people love?  They’re simple, they can use damn near any ingredient you can think of and unless you really are feeding a horde of people, they tend to make the best leftovers, and when you have a lunch break at work or school, having something hot and homemade is so comforting when your boss/professors are being asshats that you can generally get on with your day with dignity and at least a little smile.

The recipe I’m going to post now has so many different ways to make it, I’m sure.  After all, my friend Becca in her blog Burnt Toast Weekly adapted it from the recipe I originally was given (which I’ll post at the bottom), and tonight, I adapted it from the ‘original’.  Hell, the next time I make it (and my roommate assures me that I will be making this again), I’ll adapt it again to try and make the jalapeño not quite so crunchy in the end.

INGREDIENTS

1-2 lb ground beef

2 can Ranch style beans

1 medium onion

10-12 oz grated cheddar cheese

1-2 can cream of mushroom soup

2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced

1-2 jalapeños, diced very small (depending on how spicy you want it, leave in seeds and membrane)

12 corn tortillas (soft)

DIRECTIONS

Prep all your fresh ingredients.  Dice tomatoes, jalapeño and onion and set aside.  Grate cheese and set back into the fridge until you’re ready for it.

Now, since I’m not a fan of Rotel tomatoes (they just don’t taste very fresh…too metallic and full of the preservatives), I have the fresh tomatoes and peppers, so I mixed them and some black pepper in with the soup in a bowl and set it aside for when I needed it.

In a pan with a little oil, sauté the onions then add the ground beef, stirring it until you’ve got very small pieces like you would for taco meat.  You’ll drain all the grease ten add the beans, mixing them in together.  The original recipe calls for the meat and beans to be layered, but this actually worked much better.  Be sure to have your first layer of tortillas on the bottom of your lightly greased (I used the store brand of Pam) casserole dish.  Then add the meat-bean mixture.

Add the layer of grated cheese (I always use mild cheddar).  After that, put on the next six tortillas then ice with the soup-tomato-jalapeño mixture.  Put into the oven at 400° for 20-25 minutes, or until the soup topping is bubbly.

Now usually, I would make rice to go with something like this because I love rice, but tonight, I didn’t feel up to fixing it.  Instead, I just put together a basic salad with fresh green leaf lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.  It was a light meal but very filling.  I do think, however, that I want to figure out a different way to put the jalapeños in so that they cook down a little and aren’t so crunchy still.  Either way, the casserole came out fantastic and there are definitely leftovers for us to enjoy for the next couple of days.

ORIGINAL RECIPE

Mexican Casserole

 1 lb ground beef

1 can Ranch style beans

1 medium onion

10-12 oz grated cheddar cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes w/chilies

12 corn tortillas (soft)

Brown meat then in a 3x9x2 oblong dish (or whatever’s at hand), arrange 6 corn tortillas.  Pour ground beef, beans, onions and cheese in this order.  Top with remaining tortillas, ice w/mushroom soup then top with Rotel tomatoes.  Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.  

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m at work, I’m hungry, and I’m currently banned from making spicy food at the house (until Aub’s stomach settles down from the new meds and non-hospital food). And damn it, this looks *goooood*.

    1. You can’t even make spicy food for yourself? That sucks. 😦 You need to come eat at my house. Kass and I make a lot of spicy stuff, though I do need to figure out how to do something with the jalapeño so that they’re not crunchy in the soup. I think I have it figured out. I just need to try it sometime. This casserole is really good and you can actually make it not so spicy if you use the mild Rotel. Or even less spicy chilies.

  2. You may want to note that you use Cream of Mushroom soup specifically. I realized when I was making it that there are different types of “mushroom soup”, like the Golden Mushroom I use on my pot roast. 😀

    1. Ahhh. I’ll do that. I don’t ever think of any other type of mushroom soup since the only one I’ve ever used is cream of mushroom soup.

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